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Business Environment: Measuring Technological Factors

With spending on technology reaching, $3,360 billion in 2019, and the internet becoming part of everyday life of the masses, it is imperative that new businesses and entrepreneurs take into account what this means for their business.

There are two layers to how technology affects businesses today. The first is directly linked to what it means for your product/service. The second impact the technological environment has is the way that the business is run.

Let’s look at these two aspects individually to breakdown what a new business owner should plan for.

How can technology affect the reception of your product/service?

In previous blogs, we have given the example of z.com and YouTube and how z.com was essentially the same concept but the technology of the time was not compatible with video streaming.This was the reason why z.com did not take on in 2000, while 5 years later YouTube came and became such a huge success.

 

So, you have to remember that ultimately you do need to make it work in the real world and a business’s main purpose is to offer a service in exchange for monetary value. In other words, you want to make money off of your idea.

Therefore, investing in a project the world is not ready for will mean loss and demoralization.

With this, however, comes the fear that if you don’t do it someone else will. With billions of people having access to the same knowledge and technical and intellectual resources that you have access to, it is highly probable that multiple people will happen upon similar ideas.

 

There is no solution to this latter conundrum though but you have to weigh the risk. If you are not making a huge investment and you feel it might take time but eventually the tech will catch up with what you’re offering, then you could go for it.

For example, 5G will probably be out in the next year or so. If you are developing an app or service to help people while they are out and about but it requires high speed internet, preparing it for launch in about a year’s time is probably a good idea.

However, developing a service or product for daily use that is highly dependent on Virtual Reality tech is probably not a viable option for a couple of years. This is because mos internet users do not have access to VR and so it will have to be a very niche product. The purchase and profits will be limited as well.

It all depends on what your business model is. If you are aiming for a high end product that is not meant to be used by everyone then your approach will be different. And aiming for a more common service will mean you look out for more accessible technology to back you up.

Just remember to check if the world is ready for what you have to offer before investing your hours, energies, and resources into an idea.

How does it help or make the workings more efficient?

The way offices function is now on the brink of some major changes.There are a number of reasons for that.

Technology has allowed people to work from home and in most cases more efficiently than at a shared work space. The term used for such employees is telecommuters. Let’s look at it with the help of astudy.

 

A Professor at Stanford University, Nicholas Bloom, conducted a study spanning 2 years in which he compared two groups of workers of a travel agency called Ctrip because its CEO and co-founder James Liang was in one of his graduate classes.

Liang was looking into the working from home model because it allowed his company to save money on the work space, which is very expensive in Shanghai, and also to boost productivity. The long commute times in busy cities can really dampen the efficiency of the work force as a lot of energy is spent on roads and transport.

To test this model, Bloom divided 500 employees from Liang’s company into two groups. One was to work from the Headquarters and the other from home. Their performance was being traced over a lengthy period of 2 years.

These were the findings:

⦁ Those who were working from home put in full hours whereas those who had to come to work were more prone to being late or leaving early.

⦁ Telecommuters took shorter breaks and generally took less time off compared to the other group.

⦁ Not having to use cars for work meant that the impact on climate was a positive one with less carbon emissions.

⦁ Since 250 employees were working from home the company saved a lot of money on rent, $2000 per employee to be exact.

⦁ One negative impact on the employees from telecommuting was the isolation. More than 50% of the employees of that group, at the end of the study, wanted to not have to work from home all the time.

The recommendation Bloom gave as a result of the findings was that even though working from home is very efficient, for the mental well-being of the employees, some days a week should be reserved for office work. Striking this balance would make for the perfect work environment.

The whole point of citing this study was to show what technology has made possible. With this knowledge at the back of your mind, you can figure out what suits your business needs.

You have to change the way you look at business and work. Ultimately,the goal is to get some value from the work your employees are providing you with. If they are able to work from home then it shouldn’t matter that they are not sitting in front of you when working.

There are ways to supervise your employees through time tracking software that are very efficient such as Time Doctor, CakeHR, DeskTime etc. You can also talk to them and hold meetings via Skype, Zoho Meeting, and G Suite etc

The variety of services technology offers has truly opened new windows for small businesses. It has now become possible to personalize your business and work model according to your needs and budget. So, take all these opportunities into consideration and focus on getting the most value for your investment.

With spending on technology reaching, $3,360 billion in 2019, and the internet becoming part of everyday life of the masses, …

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